The campaign to encourage the use of public transport in Kochi is yet to be followed up with streamlining of bus and passenger boat services in the city.
The observance of Bus Day, which was aimed at encouraging people to shift to public transport, has also been discontinued. A Motor Vehicles' Department (MVD) official said that the programme was halted due to lack of cooperation from the KSRTC and private bus operators. As for water transport, the State Water Transport Department is unable to cater to the high demand from commuters, here too because of bureaucratic hurdles and inadequate will power.
Sources in the MVD said that officials are now busy with training school bus drivers and creating awareness among stakeholders on how to transport children safely. “We suspended the permit of a few private buses which did not ply trips and also imposed fines on them for other rule violations. Thus, many private bus operators might not cooperate with us in observing Bus Day. Many KSRTC officials too are not proactive in streamlining their bus services. Many of its buses skip the Vyttila mobility hub, despite constant reminders,” an official said.
Then there is the constant complaint that the crew of most private buses behave in a rude manner and that vehicles are driven rashly. “Very often, the bus takes off even before we board it. There are occasions when women too have to travel on the footboard, because most buses are crowded during peak hours,” said Teena John, a commuter.